Dear Uncle Sam:
I know it’s been a rough week. I’m sure you’re grieving the lost of life at Fort Hood just like the rest of us, but I’m compelled to write you this letter. I hope you take it in the spirit in which it is meant.
I read an article at Salon.com today that made me wonder about your judgement. Since when did you stop listening to your doctors? The article was about Dr. Kernan Manion, a psychiatrist who wanted to help troops before they went postal on military bases. Uncle Sam, Dr. Manion use to work for you at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Then he got fired. Why did you give Dr. Manion the boot for stating the obvious? He pointed out that troops at Camp Lejeune are getting bullied by superiors and dumped into an overwhelmed mental health care system when they asked for psychiatric help. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*
One of the joys of having a blog with 10 readers is that a bunch of them actually add content. From the comments to this post (about the Collier Township, PA mass shooting) by CHenry:
Sadly a recurring pattern of tragedy. A mentally ill person: depressed, angry, frustrated and paranoid, socially isolated largely due to the behavioral features of his disordered personality (I say “his” particularly because it is true, most of these mass-killer-suicides are men) and then some event that triggers the lethal cataclysm of violence. It doesn’t even have to be something most people would think would trigger someone to break, maybe the failure of a brief relationship, or something more significant like a job loss.
U. Texas at Austin, Port Arthur, Tasmania, San Ysidro, California, Ecole Polytechnique, Quebec, Kileen, Texas, Dunblane, Scotland, Virginia Tech. All very similar, and there have been many more.
The gun control activists point to the weapons of choice. They have a point: semiautomatic firearms give an assailant a huge advantage of speed in making a body count when turned on unarmed and trapped victims. But even in places where gun ownership is tightly controlled, those with the determination to kill have found weapons of their choice.
We live in a society where it is startlingly easy to be alienated and alone, even in a crowd. For whatever reasons, the ties that bind us to one another, community, family, church, friendship and work are much more tenuous than ever before. People with thought disorders and violent tendencies have probably never been freer, both of the laws that once gave a society powers to confine them and of the observation and social controls that a world of smaller communities once imposed on their behaviors.
The lonely berserk stranger, hell-bent on wreaking as much destruction as possible before his own destruction has become the dark meme of modern living. Going postal.
I don’t see a practical answer to this problem. Good comment.
*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*